The State Fire Marshal’s office rolled out a shiny new truck today that’ll serve as a mobile arson and explosives lab. State Fire Marshal Jim Kenkel says the 200-thousand dollar “Bomb Response Vehicle” was purchased with federal Homeland Security funds. He says the unit will be used to respond to major types of fire investigations or explosive investigations throughout the state. Kenkel says this truck upgrades and replaces the unit they had before.He says they did a have a unit that was similar, but it was in an accident and damaged beyond repair. He says this unit is twice the size of the old truck. He says they’ve been able to add a lot more fire investigative tools and explosive investigative tools they couldn’t carry before. He says the truck also has a command post where they can go and interview victims or witnesses. Kenkel says they used the truck in an arson investigation in the Des Moines suburb of Clive Tuesday night.He says they were asked to come in and assist in the investigation, and they’ll do that any time there’s a fire investigation across the state that involves a death. Kenkel says he’d like to have two more trucks to serve the entire state, but they’re happy to have this one. Iowa Homeland Security Advisor Ellen Gordon says the truck fulfills one of the goals of her office. She says being able to acquire an enhanced bomb technician vehicle has been one of their objectives to provide response statewide.
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